After India, Pakistan has been reporting the highest viewership of the YouTube Channels of Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) for four straight years, Parliament has been told. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) said Prasar Bharati has over 170 YouTube channels of its AIR and DD network for viewers and the digital channels of Prasar Bharati are popular in other countries too.

Furnishing details of the top five foreign countries in terms of viewership of the YouTube channels, the ministry gave figures showing Pakistan has been topping the charts since 2018, according to YouTube analytics, implying Pakistanis watch India’s government-run channels the most on YouTube after Indians.

Pakistan has reported more viewership of those YouTube channels than the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Australia, Canada and Bangladesh, which have a sizeable Indian diaspora population. In 2020, Pakistan reported viewership figures of 1.33 crore against 1.28 crore from the US, 82.7 lakh from UAE, 81 lakh from Bangladesh and 65 lakh from Saudi Arabia. This year so far, Pakistan has reported nearly 70 lakh views ahead of 56 lakh in USA.

The government said the year-long viewership of DD and AIR YouTube channels was 130 crore last year, almost double of 68 crore in 2019.

The government said Prasar Bharati has been taking steps to make its various audio and video digital channels popular with the “NewsOnAir” app and the archival and rare content is put on its YouTube channel to garner viewership.

“Live-streaming of programs of national importance is done so as to expand its reach across the globe. A system of feedback mechanism and Audience response has been created for improved content creation on Prasar Bharati platforms through social media. Further, extensive use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook is made to popularise content available on various digital channels of Prasar Bharati Network,” the government has said in its reply.